I have a little book that is based on the Enneagram—a typology of nine personality types. This book has what it calls “releases” and then “affirmations” for each of the nine personalities. Here are a few that seem to hit the spot for my personality today: “I release feeling cowardly and unsure of myself; I release my self-defeating, self-punishing tendencies.” And here are a few affirmations for today: “I affirm that I find true authority within me; I affirm that I am understanding and generous to all who need me.”
When we release and affirm all that is both light and dark in our personalities, we move toward living a life of freedom and joy.
Don Riso, the author of this book says: “The beams of love we need to learn to bear come from a higher part of ourselves that sees our suffering and is able to heal it.”
I had goals for the beginning of the term for The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro. Two weeks before classes began, I was a bit frantic about the high enrollment expectations I had set up, then I stopped and asked myself what was really at stake.
I found my level of frustration was not really commensurate with the problem—as we already had enough people in each class. I noticed how I was talking to myself and realized I was trying to appease some unrealistic standard I drive myself crazy with. I was once again striving for some kind of ideal that is not reachable most of the time, and of course, this results in stress.
Notice how our unattainable standards begin and end in the way we talk to ourselves. Have you judged yourself in the last three hours—comparing yourself to some high standard?
Sometimes the most important hairpin turn we take is in our thinking!